Back pain prevention tips for men

Backpain_Man sitting on bed grabbing back_IS_000025796411_RF-S_CMYKDealing with back pain can be an excruciating experience, one that not only impacts a complex and intricate combination of muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones, but also your peace of mind. Men, in particular, commonly experience lower back pain, and appear more prone to experiencing this condition than women. A minor lower back tweak can escalate into the need for over-the-counter remedies, a trip to the doctor and potentially even surgery.

According to the American Chiropractic Association:

  • Experts estimate back pain impacts at least 80 percent of the population.
  • Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on back pain treatments.

While strained muscles or sprained ligaments cause back pain most frequently, conditions such as osteoarthritis or degenerative disc disease can cause chronic, debilitating back pain. Below are common mistakes that can lead to back pain, along with prevention tips:

Improper lifting: Whether lifting at the gym or helping around the house, be sure to lift with your knees, rather than bending and putting stress on your back. Keep your back straight as you lift the object, and keep the object you’re lifting close to you while avoiding twisting as you rise to a standing position. Be cautious, as some objects are heavier than they appear. Try not to lift objects that may be more than 20 percent of your body weight.

There’s nothing like a good stretch: Heading to the gym or getting ready for your next run? Be sure to get in a good stretch. Stretching can help warm up the back muscles and increase flexibility, improving the flow of blood and nutrients to the spine. It’s also a beneficial move that can help you avoid injury. Stretching isn’t just for a pre-warm-up workout or cool-down, however. Regular stretching should be added to your daily routine to help reduce back muscle stiffness and soreness, and provide back pain relief.

How’s your posture? Do you remember to stand, or even sit, straight? Slouching can put a tremendous amount of pressure on the spine, challenging a balanced alignment and leading to back pain. Good posture can also help to maintain the natural curves of the spine while preventing injury. If you have a job that involves being seated for long periods of time, be sure to get up and move at least every 20 minutes. This will help to keep your spine in alignment.

Whether seated, standing or walking, keep your spine lengthened with your shoulders relaxed. One helpful tip: Imagine there’s a string attached to the top of your head, pulling to keep your spine straight while aligning your hips and shoulders.

Taking the right steps in footwear? Did you know that one-quarter of the bones in the body are located in the feet? With this in mind, the type of shoes you wear can have a big impact on preventing back pain. Whether for fitness, casual or business wear, comfort is key! When selecting footwear, be sure to focus on arch support, proper fit and balance. Inserts can be worn to help you keep not only your feet balanced, but also maintain the right alignment throughout your back, spine and body.

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